BPI moves past system upgrade birth pains

Ralf Rivas

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BPI moves past system upgrade birth pains
Bank of the Philippine Islands president Cezar Consing promises better services, following system upgrade problems that angered and inconvenienced clients

MANILA, Philippines – After drawing flak from clients over faulty services in the past weeks, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said it has made all necessary tweaks to its system and assured customers that its services will be better.

Speaking in the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Thursday, April 25, BPI president Cezar Consing likened the bank’s system upgrade to “building the foundation a house” one lives in and fixing decades-old structures, while at the same time “staying in that house.”

“We made changes to 21,000 programs, 15,000 lines of codes, and 5,100 copy books, over 41,000 changes in all. Clearly, this was a challenging exercise and we regret the inconvenience that this caused,” Consing said.

Consing added that the undertaking was enormous, but had to be done to move ahead with digitalization. (READ: BPI net income inches up to P23.08 billion in 2018)

He said branches were open on weekends and automated teller machines were operational during the extended downtime.

The Ayala-led bank announced service unavailability on April 5 to 7 for the upgrade, but issues arose, leading to further disruptions.


Payday panic

With the next payday just around the corner, is the bank confident that employees won’t encounter problems getting their salaries?

Ramon Jocson, BPI’s chief operating officer, said the bank did not fail in payroll servicing. (READ: No payday yet for BPI clients as system problems drag on)

He explained that BPI’s contracts with companies specify that funds will be available “within the day.” Jocson said that while some encountered delays in receiving their salaries, BPI was able to commit to the contract.

Moreover, Jocson said companies can also get the funds themselves from BPI and then directly distribute to their employees.

For employees who claimed not getting their salaries for almost a week, BPI distanced itself from the issue, with Jocson saying “hindi kami ‘yan” (it’s not us). – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.